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Game Preview: Vikings vs. Lions

Posted Dec 24, 2013

REGULAR SEASON WEEK 17 - MINNESOTA VIKINGS VS. DETROIT LIONS
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 29, 2013 - MALL OF AMERICA FIELD - NOON CT - FOX

The Minnesota Vikings (4-10-1) play host to the Detroit Lions (7-8) on Sunday, December 29 in the final game played at Mall of America Field. The game is scheduled for a noon kickoff. The Vikings have beaten the Lions more than any other opponent in Mall of America Field history holding a 23-7 record against Detroit since the building opened in 1982.

The Vikings have a winning mark against each of their division opponents at Mall of America Field, with a record of 20-11 against the Bears and a 16-15 mark against the Packers. The game against Detroit will mark the 250th regular season game in the stadium and the 260th including playoffs. The Vikings hold a 167-92 record in regular season and playoff action.

NATIONAL TELEVISION: FOX

Play-by-Play: Gus Johnson Analyst: Charles Davis Sideline Reporter: Charissa Thompson

LOCAL RADIO: KFAN-FM 100.3/KTCN-AM 1130

Play-by-Play: Paul Allen Analyst: Pete Bercich Sideline Reporter: Greg Coleman

Pre-game Show: Mike Mussman – 10 a.m. CT

KFAN and KTCN serve as the flagship stations for the 72-station, 5-state Vikings Radio Network.

STAT OF THE WEEK
Vikings WR/KR Cordarrelle Patterson currently averages 33.6 yards per kick return, the 2nd-highest season average since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970

NORSEMAN NOTABLES
• WR/KR Cordarrelle Patterson’s 1,342 kickoff return yards are the most in the NFL in 2013 and ranks 2nd all-time among Vikings. His 109-yard kickoff return TD against Green Bay on 10/27/13 is the longest kickoff return in NFL history. He needs 4 kickoff return yards to break the Vikings single-season record (Buster Rhymes, 1,345 in 1985).
• DE Jared Allen (9.5)and DE Brian Robison (9.0) can be the 1st Viking duo to each get 10 sacks since 2004 – Kevin Williams (12) & Lance Johnstone (11).
• DT Kevin Williams will be playing in his 83rd game at Mall of America Field, the 7th most all-time and most among current players.
• Patterson has scored a TD in 4 consecutive games, becoming the 1st Vikings rookie to do so since WR Randy Moss scored in 7 straight games in 1998. Patterson also recorded a team season-high 141 receiving yards against Baltimore in Week 14, including a team season- long 79-yard TD. The 141 receiving yards are the most by a Vikings rookie since Moss. (163, at Dallas, 11/26/1998).
• CB/PR Marcus Sherels currently holds a team record and ranks 2nd in the NFL with a 13.6 punt return average on 19 returns. Sherels needs 1 more return to qualify for season-long records.
• Since 2011, special teams coordinator Mike Priefer’s first year in Minnesota, the Vikings are tied with the Ravens, Broncos and Titans for the most combined kick return TDs with 6 (4 kickoff returns, 2 punt returns). The 4 kickoff return TDs lead the NFL.
• Peterson rushed for 211 yards on a career-high and team record 35 carries vs. Chicago, marking his 5th career game with 200 rushing yards. Peterson’s 5 games of 200 rushing yards are tied for 2nd all-time with Tiki Barber, trailing only trailing O.J. Simpson (6).
• The Vikings scored a season-high 48 points against the Eagles. It was the 1st time the Vikings topped 40 points since beating the New York Giants, 44-7, on 1/3/10.
• Patterson, who led the team with 54 rushing yards, became the 1st Vikings WR to lead the team in rushing since Percy Harvin on 12/6/09 vs. Arizona.
• LB Chad Greenway is on pace to lead the team in tackles for the 6th consecutive season, which would tie Ring of Honor member Scott Studwell’s team record.

VIKINGS-LIONS CONNECTIONS
• Lions WR nate Burleson played for the Vikings from 2003-05, recording career highs in both yards (1,006) and TDs (9) in 2004. Burleson was a 3rd round pick (71st overall) of the Vikings in 2003.
• Lions QB Shaun Hill played from 2002-06 with the Vikings. Hill signed with the Vikings as an undrafted rookie free agent.
• Detroit’s Offensive Coordinator Scott Linehan spent 2002-04 with the Vikings as the Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks Coach.
• Lions QB Coach Todd Downing, an Eden Prairie, Minn. native, got his start with the Vikings as a football systems analyst from 2003-04 and the Offensive Quality Control Coach in 2005.
• Silas McKinnie, a regional scout for the Lions, spent 5 seasons (1997-2002) at the same position with the Vikings.
• Rick Spielman, the Vikings GM, received his 1st NFL personnel experience with the Lions serving as a college scout from 1990-94 before adding pro scouting duties in his final 2 seasons (95-96) with the Lions.
• Vikings TE Coach Jimmie Johnson played TE for the Lions from 1992-93.
• Vikings Personnel Consultant Jerry Reichow was a 4th-round pick in 1956 by Detroit and helped the Lions to their last NFL title in 1957.
• Kevin Warren, the Vikings VP of Legal Affairs and Chief Administrative Of- ficer, spent 2001-03 with the Detroit Lions as Senior VP of Business Operations and General Counsel.

LOCAL CONNECTIONS
• Vikings WR Greg Jennings is a native of Kalamazoo, Mich., attended Kalamazoo Central High and starred at Western Michigan University.
• Lions Head Coach Jim Schwartz served as a graduate assistant coach for the University of Minnesota football team in 1990.
• Lions Assistant Director of Pro Personnel Charlie Sanders played for the University of Minnesota and was drafted in the 3rd-round of the 1968 NFL Draft by the Lions.
• Vikings DB Coach Joe Woods coached at a trio of Michigan schools before landing in the NFL. Woods coached at Eastern Michigan (1993), Grand Valley State (1994-96) and Western Michigan (2001-03).
• Vikings C Joe Berger is a Newaygo, Mich. native and attended Michigan Tech. Also a Michigan native, Vikings LB Audie Cole is from Monroe, Mich.
• Vikings Defensive Assistant Coach Jeff Imamura coached at Saginaw Valley State.

NFL CONNECTIONS
• Lions C Dylan Gandy and T Corey Hilliard both played under Vikings Defensive Coordinator Alan Williams for the Indianapolis Colts. Gandy and Hilliard were also in Indianapolis while Vikings Head Coach Leslie Frazier, and Vikings G Charlie Johnson were with the organization.

COLLEGE CONNECTIONS
• Vikings QB Matt Cassel and Lions RB Reggie Bush played together at USC from 2003-04. During the two-year span, the Trojans ammassed a record of 25-1, including wins in the 2003 Rose Bowl and 2004 BCS National Championship Game.
• Lions C Corey Hilliard (2003-06), TE Brandon Pettigrew (2003-06) and Vikings G Charlie Johnson (2002-05) all spent time together at Oklahoma State.
• Lions LB Ashlee Palmer and Vikings S Jamarca Sanford were teammates for 2 seasons (2007-08) at Ole Miss
• Vikings K Blair Walsh and Lions QB Matthew Stafford were teammates at Georgia for the 2008 season.
• Lions TE Joseph Fauria and Vikings G Jeff Baca and P Jeff Locke played together at UCLA from 2010-12.

VIKINGS BIG DAYS VS. LIONS
• DE Jared Allen recorded a total of 6.0 sacks in 2 games against the Lions in 2011. Allen finished the season with 22.0 sacks, setting a new Vikings single-season record for sacks and finishing just 1.0 sack short of breaking the NFL’s single-season sack record.
• LB Chad Greenway set a career-high with 2 INT against the Lions on 9/20/09. Greenway added 3 tackles in a Vikings 27-13 win.
• In the last meeting between the Vikings and Lions on 9/8/13, RB Adrian Peterson took the Vikings first offensive snap of the 2013 season and rushed 78 yards for a TD.
• DT Letroy Guion notched a career-best 2.0 sacks against Detroit on 9/30/12 at Detroit.
• CB Marcus Sherels returned a punt 77 yards for a touchdown in the Vikings 20-13 win over the Lions on 9/30/12. The Vikings also scored a kickoff return TD in the game, marking the 3rd time in team history scoring on a PR and KR in the same game.

VIKINGS-LIONS SERIES NOTES
• The Vikings have defeated the Lions in 14 out of the last 15 meetings at Mall of America Field. The Vikings only loss in that span came in overtime in 2011 when the Lions won 26-23.
• The Vikings and Lions have played 104 times overall with Minnesota holding a 68-34-2 series record.
• The Vikings and Lions have played two overtime games in series history. In 2007, the Lions won 20-17 at Ford Field. In Week 3 of the 2011 season, the Lions again won on a field goal, 26-23.
• The Vikings are currently 23-7 when playing the Lions at Mall of America Field.
• The Vikings and Lions have never met in the playoffs.
• The Vikings and Lions have closed the regular season against each other five times. The Vikings hold a 3-2 advantage in those games.

A WIN WOULD...
• Give the Vikings their 7th win in the month of December dating back to 2012. The Vikings currently are tied for 9th in the NFL with a 6-3 record in December in that span.
• Increase the Vikings winning percentage at Mall of America Field to .648.
• Give the Vikings their 22nd winning season at Mall of America Field since it opened in 1982.